Higher Maternal Blood Pressure Before Pregnancy Will More Likely Deliver A Baby Boy — Study Finds

By Collie Lane, Parent Herald January 13, 07:51 am

A woman's blood pressure before pregnancy was linked to the baby's sex, researchers found. Based on the latest findings, parents may accurately predict whether they will be delivering a boy or girl.

The study published in the American Journal of Hypertension stressed the possibility of predicting the sex of the baby in early pregnancy through the woman's blood pressure before conceiving. This topic was controversial, breaching to numerous theories of maternal characteristics that were linked to the presence of a male or female fetus.

Researchers established a unique pre-conception cohort that involved young women who were planning to have a pregnancy. The observations raised the possibility of having underlying differences that relate to a woman's likelihood of sex-specific fetal loss.

Participants went through baseline medical assessment at recruitment before they subsequently became pregnant. They were followed across the pregnancy and clinical care.

The team was led by Dr. Ravi Retnakaran, an endocrinologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, who was assisted by an investigator from Lunendfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute. They recruited 3,375 women in Liuyang, China where 1,692 of these women were assessed for blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and glucose.

Along with the exclusion of 281 women, who were potentially pregnant at their baseline assessment, the study population for the analysis was also consisted of 1,411 women who went through assessment at median 26.3 weeks before pregnancy. The results were remarkable having the delivery of 739 boys and 672 girls.

Other important factors like education, age, smoking, waist, BMI, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, glucose and triglycerides were also taken into consideration. The research team found that the higher maternal blood pressure before pregnancy, the more likely it is to deliver a baby boy.

"This suggests that a woman's blood pressure before pregnancy is a previously unrecognized factor that is associated with her likelihood of delivering a boy or a girl," Retnakaran said, as per EurekAlert!. "This novel insight may hold implications for both reproductive planning and our understanding of the fundamental mechanisms underlying the sex ratio in humans." 

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